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Children's Literature and the Dual-Degree Experience

The Picturebook. Poetry for Young Readers. Fantasy and Science Fiction. Victorian Children's Literature. Contemporary Realistic Fiction for Young Adults. These are just a sampling of the rich course offerings available to students pursuing their Master's degree in Children's Literature at Simmons. The program, explored here this summer in an interview with its director, Cathryn Mercier (also Director of the Center for the Study of Children's Literature), provides students with a theoretical framework and unique approach to children's literature, and has earned an unparalleled reputation in the exploding children's-literature industry, with graduates finding success in all sectors.

Unique to Simmons are the program's four dual degree offerings, combining the Master of Arts in Children's Literature with either a Master of Science in Library and Information Science, a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Arts in English, or a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children. These distinct tracks attract students with diverse career goals, thus bringing together a rich array of perspectives not typically housed in one program.

December 2014 | Feature story | Infolink Newsletter | Student Profile

Prof. and students to present at MSLA Conference

Adjunct Prof. Eric Poulin and SLIS students Katie Flynn, Katie Beth Ryan, and Rebecca Morin have been selected to present at the 2015 Massachusetts Library Association Conference, May 5-7 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Their presentation is titled "Think, Pair, Share But Don't Stop There--Creative Teaching Techniques for Effective Instruction."

Folks on the Move | Student Profile | News

PhD/MLIP candidate featured as "Adventurous Librarian"

Felton Thomas, Jr. was featured as an "Adventurous Librarian" on a website promoting The Librarians on TNT. Librarian profiles were provided by the American Library Association. Thomas's profile can be seen here.

Folks on the Move | Student Profile

Library Services for the 21st Century Student

Bugg_BioPic_MLIP2013.jpgLike many in the LIS field, MLIP (Managerial Leadership in Library Professions) Ph.D. student Kimberley Bugg didn't set out to be a librarian when she began her college career. A Communications and Media Studies major at Georgia State University (GSU)--she said, "I like to talk about Spike Lee a lot." Her sights were originally set on law school. As an intern at the Fulton County Courthouse, Bugg researched cases and prepared witnesses for pretrial testimony, but found herself discouraged by the environment. The attorneys were "overworked, making peanuts with huge student loans . . . eating at MacDonald's every day because that's all they could afford, and I thought, this is no way to survive." She expressed this concern to one of the lawyers she worked with, who complimented her research zeal and suggested she might find law librarianship rewarding.

Infolink Newsletter | October 2014 | Student Profile

ARL/SAA Mosaic Program Fellows Selected for 2014-2016

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL)/Society of American Archivists (SAA) has chosen three SLIS master's students to participate in their Mosaic Program: Micha Broadnax, Adriana Flores, and Sara Powell. A total of five master of library and information science students specializing in archival studies have been selected for the 2014-2016 cohort. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), this program "strives to promote much-needed diversification of the archives and special collections professional workforce."

Fellows in the ARL/SAA Mosaic Program will participate in a paid internship with a partner institution. They will receive a tuition stipend, mentoring, leadership development and career placement assistance, complimentary student membership in SAA, and support to attend the SAA Annual Meeting and 2015 ARL/SAA Mosaic Leadership Forum.

Micha Broadnax, Simmons College
Internship host: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Adriana Flores , Simmons College
Internship host: Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University

Sara Powell , Simmons College
Internship host: Institute Archives and Special Collections, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries

Visit the ARL/SAA Mosaic Program website for more information:

Folks on the Move | News | Student Profile

MLIP/Ph.D. Candidate Profile: LeRoy LaFleur

Thumbnail image for LaFleur_9752photo.jpgLibrarians need to be innovative to meet today's challenges, and they need environments that encourage new ideas, according to LeRoy LaFleur, Head of Rush Rhees Library Reference at the University of Rochester. As the former Head of George Mason University's Arlington Campus Library and a former social sciences bibliographer at Cornell University, LaFleur became a Simmons SLIS MLIP/Ph.D. student "to obtain the leadership skills and training needed to succeed professionally in today's libraries," he says.

Infolink Newsletter | News | September 2014 | Student Profile

MLIP student published

MLIP student Alexia Hudson-Ward's article "Diversity and Inclusion: Online Resources for Education" was published in the June edition of College and Research Libraries News. Another article, "Eyeing the New Diversity: An Emerging Paradigm for Recruitment and Retention" was published in the July/August issue of American Libraries.

Folks on the Move | News | Student Profile

2014 Commencement Awards

The winners of the 2014 Commencement Awards were interviewed about their Simmons experience and post-graduation plans.

Continue reading 2014 Commencement Awards

Infolink Newsletter | News | Student Profile | Summer 2014

How Prison Libraries Can Make a Safer World

At some point, 95% of the incarcerated will be released into the general public. They need programs and services to help them re-enter society peacefully and productively. Libraries offer that opportunity. -- Julie Steenson '14LS


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Alumnae/i News | April 2014 | Feature story | Infolink Newsletter | News | Student Profile

Making a Difference with Librarians Without Borders

BrandieBurrowsSchoolBookMark.jpgGSLIS master's student Brandie Burrows personifies public service. As a former Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, she taught entrepreneurial fundamentals to women business owners and helped establish youth centers. While she was at the home of her host family, the maid thought she was "rich because I had so many books. I tried to explain to her the idea of borrowing books for free. It was a completely unfathomable concept. I realized she had never been to a library. Then, I started thinking about being a librarian." While in graduate school, she searched for her next opportunity to improve conditions for those in another part of the world. When she stumbled upon Librarians without Borders (LWB) in a Simmons GSLIS newsletter listing, she applied to the school that night. 

April 2014 | Infolink Newsletter | News | Student Profile

Snapshot: Mariah Manley

MariahManleyphoto.jpgMariah Manley shares what she has learned about building bridges, working with executive management, balancing budgets, and other skills as the outgoing Library and Information Science Student Association (LISSA) president. Read how Manley is building her career by taking advantage of GSLIS opportunities to develop her talents and networks.

Continue reading Snapshot: Mariah Manley

April 2014 | Infolink Newsletter | News | Student Profile

MLIP/Ph.D. Candidate: Free Range Librarian Karen Schneider

Thumbnail image for KarenSchneiderPhoto.jpg"Although we take it for granted how easy it is to use email today, it was difficult to explain to users twenty years ago. People would ask, 'Do you have to be there when the message arrives?'" Simmons GSLIS MLIP/Ph.D. candidate Karen Schneider reflects on her early technology lessons. If you have heard of the Free Range Librarian or read the American Libraries' "Internet Librarian" and American Library Association's (ALA) "TechSource" columns, you know Schneider as an expert in teaching librarians to use and share technology. When she is not writing literary articles or participating in zymurgy, Schneider is the University Librarian at Holy Names University, which has about 1,400 students and received the highest diversity score in the U.S. News and World Report 2012 to 2013 rankings.

Career | Infolink Newsletter | March 2014 | Student Profile

Ph.D./MLIP Candidate Student: Alexia Hudson-Ward

Thumbnail image for AlexiaHudsonWardphoto.jpgAlthough Simmons GSLIS Ph.D. /MLIP student Alexia Hudson-Ward had a lucrative marketing career at the Coca-Cola Company before she became a librarian, the events surrounding September 11, 2001, motivated her to follow her passion. "I was scheduled to get on an airplane that day, but it was cancelled. During the next several months, I began thinking about my work's impact on the world," said Hudson-Ward.  "I always had a desire to help people become knowledgeable, productive, and impactful. Becoming an academic librarian was a way for me to do work that mattered."

February 2014 | Infolink Newsletter | Student Profile

GSLIS MLIP/PhD student Karen G. Schneider receives American Library Association Elizabeth Futas Catalyst Change Award

KarenSchneiderPhoto.jpgKaren G. Schneider, university librarian at Holy Names University, Free Range Librarian blogger, and GSLIS MLIP/PhD student, is the 2014 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change award.

News | Student Profile

GSLIS Doctoral Candidate Patricia B. Condon Wins ALISE/Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Doctoral Student Research Poster Competition

Thumbnail image for PatriciaCondonALISEAwardphoto.jpgGSLIS doctoral candidate Patricia B. Condon won the 2014 ALISE/Jean Tague-Sutcliffe Doctoral Student Research Poster Competition for her dissertation entitled, "Digital Curation Through the Lens of Disciplinarity:  A Study of the Development, Education, and Knowledge Transfer of an Emerging Field" at the ALISE Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Jeannette Bastian is Condon's advisor. 

News | Student Profile

American Theatre Archive Project Takes Boston

"A world without the arts is a world lost," says Elizabeth McGorty '15LS, a GSLIS dual master's degree candidate in archives and history. "The arts allow us to understand life and give meaning to it."

Thumbnail image for DSCN3179_2013-09-12_11-22.JPGMcGorty became fast friends with fellow GSLIS student Anne Mansella '14LS after they met in a history class. Sharing a love for the performing arts, archives, and history, McGorty and Mansella were recently appointed co-chairs of the Boston chapter of the American Theatre Archive Project (ATAP), an initiative of the American Society of Theatre Research. Learn how these students are helping organizations preserve their histories and sustaining the intimate connection between performing artists and their audiences.

December 2013 | Feature story | Infolink Newsletter | News | Student Profile

Ph.D./MLIP Candidate Profile: Tyler Walters, Virginia Tech University Dean of Libraries

"To advance research, a culture shift needs to happen. It may take a generation to change, but we need to start somewhere now." - Virginia Tech University Dean of Libraries Tyler Walters

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Headshot_Tyler_072012.JPG"The publishing ecosystem is broken," said Virginia Tech University Libraries Dean and Simmons GSLIS Ph.D./MLIP candidate Tyler Walters, who oversees 182 employees in the university's main library and four branch libraries, and provides services to the institution's extended locations in Switzerland, Dominican Republic, Senegal, Egypt, and India. The "university as a publisher" of scholarly content is an emerging solution to deal with the cost and other issues associated with today's traditional publishing. Through his research and leading by example, Walters shows academic libraries how they can help universities realize their publishing potential and become partners in the process.  Bringing more than 25 years of archive and academic library leadership experience to the dialogue about evolving library services, Walters' award-winning paper "The Future Role of Publishing in University Libraries" proposes that libraries supplement their information management and preservation services with content production.

December 2013 | Infolink Newsletter | News | Student Profile

Ph.D. Candidate Profile: Vanessa Reyes

Thumbnail image for VReyes_Picture.jpgWhen I discuss the management of my photos and files with Ph.D. candidate Vanessa Reyes, my "digital estate" appears headed for foreclosure. An eager teacher, Reyes offers gentle, thoughtful guidance. Multiple copies of content should be stored in multiple locations. PDF format, which is the current ISO preservation standard's best practice for the next five years, will reduce tampering and preserve the content's integrity. Storage clouds, like DropBox, need to be approached with a healthy dose of skepticism and selectivity when one deposits content in spaces that do not have security safeguards to prevent altering, borrowing without permission, or permanent loss.

Infolink Newsletter | News | Student Profile

Ph.D. Candidate Profile: Patricia Condon by Jennifer Moyer

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Doctoral candidate Patricia Condon recently added another accolade to her shelf: first prize in the poster session at the "Curate Thyself!" DigCCurr Ph.D. Symposium at the University of North Carolina. The award  is added to her growing list, which includes a doctoral fellowship from the Building the Future of Archival Education and Research Initiative, which provides full-time funding for her studies, and the Warren Tracy Award, which recognizes distinguished service, scholarship, and  professionalism in the library and information science field.

Infolink Newsletter | September 2013 | Student Profile

GSLIS Student Publications and Awards

Infolink Newsletter | News | September 2013 | Student Profile

Faculty Research Column: Laura Saunders by Jennifer Moyer

saunders2011.jpgThe best way to start an interview with Assistant Professor Laura Saunders is to ask, "What don't you do at Simmons GSLIS?" As the first graduate of Simmons GSLIS's Ph.D. program, Saunders is pioneering avenues of reference and information literacy research, as well as spearheading several new initiatives at the school.

Alumnae/i News | Faculty Profile | Infolink Newsletter | Student Profile | Summer 2013

Artemis Kirk '75LS Awarded 2013 Alumni Achievement Award by Jennifer Moyer

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for ArtemisKirkphoto.JPG"We can't do more with less. Instead, we must do things differently and shift the way we work to do things better. An enhancement of services doesn't come for free," said Artemis Kirk '75LS, recipient of the Simmons GSLIS 2013 Alumni Achievement award at the April 2013 GSLIS After Dark event. Recognizing that today's academic librarians are tested with determining how to manage social media, to support Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and to facilitate succession planning, Kirk knows it takes strategic thinking and collaboration across disciplines to transform challenges into opportunities.

Alumnae/i News | Infolink Newsletter | News | Student Profile | Summer 2013

Helen Drinan '75LS featured in Boston Business Journal

drinan-large.jpgSimmons College President and GSLIS alum Helen Drinan was featured as the "In Person" profile in the Boston Business Journal on June 14, 2013. Her profile, titled "Putting Simmons 'on the map' for Women," focuses on Drinan's work to make Simmons College a leader among women's institutions.

Alumnae/i News | News | Student Profile

GSLIS Alum named Vice President of the Harvard Library

Sarah Thomas '73LS of the University of Oxford has been named vice president for the Harvard Library. In this role, Thomas will have overall responsibility for the Harvard Library and will collaborate closely with the Library Board, the Faculty Advisory Council and the Library Leadership Team.
Thomas currently serves as Bodley's Librarian and director of the Bodleian Libraries--the first woman and non-British citizen to hold the position in 400 years--as well as pro-vice-chancellor and member of the faculty of modern languages at the University of Oxford. Previous to Oxford, Thomas was the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell. She served as the president of the Association of Research Libraries and also held posts at the Library of Congress, where she led in the establishment of the Program for Cooperative Cataloging, the National Agricultural Library, the Research Libraries Group at Stanford University, and Harvard's Widener Library, among other positions.

Alumnae/i News | News | Student Profile

GSLIS Grad Elected President of ALA

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for CourtneyYoung_4246.jpgCourtney Louise Young, a 1997 graduate of GSLIS and head librarian at the Penn State Greater Allegheny, has been elected president-elect of the American Library Association. Young defeated Barbara Froling Immroth, professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Information.

As ALA president, Young will be the chief elected officer for the oldest and largest library association in the world.

Young will become president-elect at the close of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago and will assume the ALA presidency at the close of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

"It is truly an honor to be elected by members of ALA to serve as president. I am excited to continue working with ALA members and ALA staff to demonstrate the value of membership through diversity, career development and engagement and outreach," she said.

For the full ALA Press release, visit:

Click here to read a recent interview with Courtney Young:

Alumnae/i News | News | Student Profile

Ph.D. Profile: Katherine McCanless Ruffin

Ruffin_Headshot.jpgKatherine McCanless Ruffin is a professional book artist pursuing a doctorate in library and information science. Ruffin multi-tasks with Olympian discipline as Book Arts Program Director at Wellesley College's Clapp Library; lecturer in the College of Fine Arts at Boston University; entrepreneur at Shinola Press; trustee of the American History Printing Association; board member of the Fine Press Book Association; MFA in the Book Arts advisory board member at her alma mater, the University of Alabama; and as a GSLIS doctoral student. Her letterpress printing, bookbinding, and papermaking skills are in demand at several institutions. She has taught workshops at New York City's Center for Books Arts, Penland School of Crafts, and Wells College Books Arts Summer Institute. In Summer 2013, she will join the faculty of Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

Infolink Newsletter | Student Profile

Tracy Sutherland: Discovering magic

tracy-sutherland.jpgPublic Services Librarian, J. Eugene Smith Library, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Connecticut

As a freshman studying dance theory in college, Tracy Sutherland found visiting the university library to be an intimidating and overwhelming experience. Yet today, she's the one behind the desk as the public services librarian of the J. Eugene Smith Library at Eastern Connecticut State University (Eastern). A former paraprofessional who worked in the libraries of Smith and Amherst colleges, Sutherland looks upon her time at Simmons as nothing short of transformative.

"Becoming a librarian," she says, "is the best thing that could have happened to me."

Student Profile

Miranda Rivers: A matter of preservation

miranda-rivers.jpgMidway through her studies at Spelman College, Miranda Rivers decided she no longer wanted to be a lawyer. What, then, to do with her history degree?

After completing archival fellowships through the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and the Mellon Librarian Recruitment Program, Rivers discovered Simmons had the answer: a dual degree in archives management and history. Now, about to graduate with a resume worth of practical experience, Rivers is well prepared for a future linked to the past.

"There are so many different things that you can do with the study of archives," she says. "It is such an exciting way to connect to history."

Student Profile

Meaghan O'Connor: A world of difference

meaghan-oconnor.jpgSenior Program Officer, International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), Washington, D.C.

Meaghan O'Connor became interested in international librarianship when she helped create youth literacy programs while spending a year in Serbia. Now, the former children's bookseller brings her vision for access and equity to the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization. As a senior program officer working with 2,000 libraries in Romania and 1,600 in Ukraine, O'Connor is doing her part to bridge the information divide.

Student Profile

Mark Tomko: Exploring New Ground


Software Engineer, The Broad Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Mark Tomko comes to GSLIS with an accomplished high-tech background -- and decidedly unique goals. With five patents to his name, he is a former software development engineer at Amazon and now works as a software engineer at an MIT- and Harvard-affiliated biomedical research institute while attending GSLIS part time. Such experience, says Tomko, has put him on the path to be what he calls a "nontraditional librarian."

He explains: "I'm melding the fields of software and information management into a career where I can work on problems in scientific data management or scientific data sharing."

Student Profile

Peishan Bartley: Through a new lens


With a B.A. in business administration from Taipei's National Cheng Chi University and an MBA from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Peishan Bartley began her career in software marketing before coming to GSLIS to pursue first, her master's degree in library and information science, and now, her Ph.D.

Focusing her research on information retrieval, Bartley initially saw the move as a radical change. Since then, she's come to regard her library science work as a continuation of her interests in the business world. Just as a marketer analyzes product positioning, Bartley is leading people to the information they need to improve their lives.

Student Profile

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